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2016 US Youth Soccer Young Referees of the Year announced


Virginia’s Katherine Highsmith and Wisconsin’s Philip Meersman honored at Awards Gala
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 13, 2017) — The recipients of the 2016 US Youth Soccer Young Referee of the Year award were announced tonight at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2017 US Youth Soccer Workshop at the NSCAA Convention in Los Angeles. The national US Youth Soccer Young Referee of the Year award winners are Katherine Highsmith of Springfield, Va., and Philip Meersman of Delavan, Wis.

Hilary Kennedy, host of The US Youth Soccer Show, set the stage for the night as the master of ceremonies for the more than 1,000 in attendance. Boys and Girls Recreation and Competitive Coaches of the Year, Administrator of the YearVolunteer of the YearGoal and Save of the Year, TOPSoccer Buddy and Coach of the Year and the Dr. Thomas Fleck Award were also presented during the Gala, and the latest US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame inductee were honored, as well.

Always committed to improving her performance, Katherine Highsmith has developed as a referee in many different ways. Communicating effectively is key to being a good referee, something Highsmith has learned throughout the years. During her breaks at tournaments, she often tries to speak with mentors that are there and find ways to improve upon her already preexisting skills. Highsmith has refereed six NVSL matches and eight US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League matches.

“Curiosity” and “humility” are a couple words that were used to describe Philip Meersman by one of his mentors. Meersman has expanded his refereeing knowledge by working in the Wisconsin State Championships, US Youth Soccer Region II ODP Camp and the Midwest Regional League. Meersman, succeeds off the pitch, as well. He was invited to participate in Stanford University’s High School Summer program, where he earned eight college credits prior to his senior year of high school. 

Recipients of the Young Referee of the Year awards are selected by the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala Committee based on their strong work ethic, knowledge of the rules of the game and service as positive role models. 

For bios on each of the regional award winners, click here.

For more information about the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala and award winners, go to 


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